Six things you need to know about the West Oak Lane Jazz Fest

This weekend’s West Oak Lane Jazz Festival has an impressive line up of musicians, international food and craft vendors. It’s a free gig and it’s open to everyone, but there are six things you need to know to get the most of the events from Friday to Sunday.


1)  You’ll be outdoors, plan for it

The jazz fest is a cross between a day at the beach and a day at the park (with a ton of music and food crammed in.) That means outdoors – sunscreen, comfy clothes, sunglasses, umbrella, lawn chairs and coolers.    


2)  Think of it as an adventure, get a map

There are more than 50 performers playing on three stages over three days – you’ll need a schedule, and a map. Print them out and bring them along, or pick up brochures at the festival headquarters at 7157 Ogontz Avenue.


3)  Don’t know your jazz? Learn it here

Eddie Palmieri, Gerald Veasley, Tia Fuller, Monkadelphia – in the right musical circles these names and plenty more performing in West Oak Lane are almost as well known as the festival’s headliner Chaka Khan. Bring a notebook and by the end of the weekend you’ll be about ready for the jazz category on Jeopardy.


4) West Oak Lane wants you to visit, know how to get there

Ogontz Avenue is blocked off all weekend long from 7100 through the 7400 block. Neighborhood parking will be jammed. There will be off site parking at the Home Depot’s upper deck at the Cheltenham Mall and a free shuttle bus to the festival. Same is true for Martin Luther King High School, the Independence Visitors Center down town, and the Fern Rock Transportation Center, which serves SEPTA’s bus routes 28, 57, 70, C, and the Broad Street Line.  For details, see the festival website


5) There will be lots buy and eat and enjoy, bring moolah

ATMs will be available at the festival, and many marketplace exhibitors accept credit cards, but cash is always king.


6) It’s about music, leave the magnum in the underwear draw

Festival organizers ask that you not bring the following: glass bottles, alcohol, bikes (can’t be ridden inside the festival grounds), grills or any open flame device, tents, canopies and, sadly for all you NRA-slash-jazz enthusiast, guns.


For more information visit the official site for the West Oak Lane Jazz Festival

For a downloadable map of the jazz fest, click here.

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